Chrysler will end the controversial practice of rotating weekly shifts at engine plant

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 13, 2012

Rotating weekly shifts would no longer be a practice at Chrysler Group's Trenton South Engine Plant after the members of UAW Local 372 last Sunday voted 365 to 93 to approve the change in its schedule. It’s clear that workers rejoiced upon knowing that this practice known as 3/2/120 has been thrown out. This meant that they no longer have to work days in one week, evenings the following week, and nights for the third week.

With this, Chrysler got an extra 49 days of production each year at straight time for its very popular 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine from using three groups of workers a day.

Workers asserted that quality was affected as the rotating schedules interfered with their ability to rest between shifts. Under the new plan, workers are split into six crews of workers. However, those crews will stay on the same shift -- days, evenings, or nights -- each week.

A Chrysler spokesman said that this change won’t incur added costs for the company. In Chrysler’s statement, it said that it was “pleased” about the approval of a work pattern that meets the workers’ needs.

On the union's Web site, it was announced that the changed scheduling will be implemented as quickly as possible. Trenton South is one of Chrysler's busiest plants. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is produced only at two sites: at Trenton South and at a twin plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

This engine is used on many of Chrysler's best-sellers such as its minivans, the Jeep Wrangler, the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans. Last week, Chrysler said that the 3.6-liter Pentastar would be offered as the standard V-6 engine in its Ram 1500 pickup this year.

The new 2011 Chrysler 300 is set to enter the U.S. market and join the full-size vehicle class. Designed to be a new model from scratch, the 2011 Chrysler 300 is for customers who want a vehicle that has its own personality and shows substance.

For the past 3 years, market share of this segment has been hovering at 4%. With this latest offering however, the brand hopes that this will rekindle interest for this segment. The reason is that the 2011 Chrysler 300 has the qualities many customers want. There is the excellent performance and the quality and precision it brings with it. This model offers seat comfort that’s the best in its segment.

It even has that elegant style. All of these are packaged inside a vehicle that has attainable value. With this sedan aimed at displaying a more luxurious feel, the door and instrument panels have cast-skin and the use of a dual-gloss three-dimensional grain ensures agility as well as a more premium look. The satin chrome accents that contrast the bright chrome give this flagship sedan the look of milled aluminum.

To make sure that customers appreciate this new model further is the instrument cluster that has a pair of large gauge faces having chrome ring accents and that are illuminated with Sapphire Blue.

In order for the interior to have a more modern and premium feel, the brand has put in ambient lighting through the use of LED in Sapphire Blue. Speaking about the interior, this new model clearly has a style Americans love, mixed with accommodations that are truly first-class. It has that detailed fit and finish with the use of authentic materials, the display of expressive style, and features the deliver passenger comfort.

Making this possible is the premium trim on the interior and real wood for the appliques on the vehicle’s steering wheels, steering console, doors, and instrument panel. Of course, the soft touch materials and the ventilated and heated Nappa leather for the seats ensure that premium feel as well. There are many reasons why the new seats in the 2011 Chrysler 300 deliver the best comfort for passengers and one of these is the premium architecture implemented.

Others include the S-shaped spring suspension and the front-seat back that offer a 4-way lumbar system that can go fore/aft and up/down. Improving the comfort further are the variable density foams that have been placed on the bolsters, seat back, and lower seat.

Topics: chrysler, engine, factory

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